Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Follow me...

...over to Let's Write a Novel...Together. For the next couple weeks I'll be posting there.

Tomorrow's post is on naming our characters and I list some very good name sites to check out.

See you there!!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Life, Writing and Stuff...

Things have been neglected here lately and I apologize. Life has managed to get in the way, my computer died and I was without one for a while then I decided to make novel writing a priority of mine.

But, I promise to do better from now on.

Here's what's new...

Starting today, we're getting ready to write our NaNoWriMo novels over at Let's Write a Novel...Together. Today's post is about characters. If you've ever wanted to write a novel, compete in NaNoWriMo or would just like a couple writing buddies, join us. The more the merrier.

Writing a mystery? Then follow me over at Mysteries in the Making.

I won't promise a new post every day but at least three times a week so say hi, come back and relax a bit.

And thanks for hanging around.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Great Rules of Writing

Do not put statements in the negative form.

And don't start sentences with a conjunction.

If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.

De-accession euphemisms.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rejections: Form Letter vs. Personal Note

This month I've gotten two rejection letters from publishers. One, was the form letter and the other was a personal note with comments letting me know I was close this time.

I totally understand the reason for a form letter. Editors are busy and taking time to send personal notes to everyone just doesn't make sense. They'd spend all day writing rejection notes instead of the many other tasks on their plate.

However...I've gotten some less than business-like form rejections in my short career. Like the bad copy of a bad copy rejection. I read one writer complain about getting this kind of rejection letter. He said something to the effect that it diminished him. That the editor or assistant couldn't take the time to at least send a nice form rejection to him, as if he wasn't worth the effort. While I'm sure this isn't the editorial thought behind the letter, sometimes it makes us writers wonder what message they are trying to send.

Then there was the rejection which consisted of "I really don't like this." scrawled across my cover sheet and mailed back to me. No signature, no reason why they didn't like it. I'd much rather have a Thanks but no thanks. Or even that form letter.

What about you? Are you getting your share of rejection letters? If not, then you need to be sending out more work.

Make it your goal this month to get a story, article or query out there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creating Memorable Characters

I think every writer wants the reader to remember the characters they create long after the book is read and put on the shelf. And, as I pondered this, a couple characters came to mind. Scarlett O'hara, Capt. Ahab, Black Beauty, Johnny Castle and all those Disney princesses.

But what is it about these characters that make them memorable? I have a couple thoughts...

First, they have strong personalities. Or at least well defined ones.

Next, they take us to places we've never been to or might never get the chance to visit. We get to share their world through how they live and see things.

Also, characters do and say things that we might never dare do or say.

We identify with these characters. We bond with them, share in the journey they take, struggle, and eventually rejoice with them.

We all know it's a hard road to publication and the future looks even more difficult. But I believe there are always going to be readers. No matter what happens in the real world, people will want to be entertained. They'll want to escape to other worlds and become part of it. They'll want to become that character and take part of his or her adventure.

This is where memorable characters come in. The more memorable our character, the better chance we have of publication.

So...what characters do you remember best and what makes them memorable for you?

Thursday, January 08, 2009


Time to get this blog active again. Here's an older post of mine to get things started.

I'm a list maker. No way around it. And most of the time, most of the things get done. Usually the ones that are most important. Or at least the ones with deadlines looming. I'm getting better about meeting deadlines. In this business, you have to be.

However there was a time when my favorite thing about deadlines was the "whooshing" sound they make rushing by.

I've done the goal setting thing, the resolution thing, the do it and reward yourself thing and failed at all of them. I want to share what works for me. It's a little thing called DUH!

D - Do it first or as close as humanly possible.

U - Understand it may be inconvenient and/or difficult and do it anyway.

H- Hurray, celebrate! You did it!

Here's why it works for me. There isn't much worse than going to bed with things that needed to be done still needing to be done. The guilt robs me of sleep and I lay there berating myself for not getting things done. By applying "D", I don't have to dread doing it or the results of not doing it.

The "U" also reminds me it may not be fun. For example, exercise. Not fun but definitely got to be done.

My favorite is the "H". We should celebrate our accomplishments everyday. No matter how small they are.

I'd love to take credit for this little system but just can't. I found it on Margie Lawson's website. Give it a good read over. She explains it very well.

Now, apply as needed:--)